How to focus on entrepreneurial mind set in B-School

The jobs have to be created by the entrepreneurs and the growing business corporates / MSMEs in India.

Recently AICTE has also come up with a scheme called SPICE to promote entrepreneurship.
Recently AICTE has also come up with a scheme called SPICE to promote entrepreneurship.

-By S K Palhan

The quality of life in a society depends on the products and services, which are made available by business and entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial mind set is very important in business schools because it enables the students to solve problems in business and society in a creative manner. In view of large number of youngsters looking for jobs there is an urgent need to create opportunities. The Government can create only limited number of jobs. The jobs have to be created by the entrepreneurs and the growing business corporates / MSMEs in India. Importance of entrepreneurship has been realized by the Government of India and number of schemes have been launched to encourage entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial mind set cannot be developed through conventional class room teaching alone. Entrepreneurial mind set starts with empathy to understand the problem and then to solve it in a creative manner.

Most of the business schools don’t have a compulsory course on entrepreneurship. The business schools which have such courses, they are mostly theoretical in nature without any hands-on experience. Their focus is on building a theoretical business plan and not the entrepreneurship mind set. The curriculum needs modification to address business needs to build centers of entrepreneurial excellence in the B schools to support entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is not the prerogative of commerce students; all students should be taught fundamentals of entrepreneurship. To develop their mind set they should select a target group in their neighborhood, study their problems and solve the problem in a creative manner without any revenue. This would give them a taste of early victory and inner joy and confidence. This is being done in Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon as a compulsory credit carrying course under the name of Karma Yoga. The students of PGDM and PGPM are introduced to the concept of social entrepreneurship through introductory lectures. Then the Institute faculty introduces the teams consisting of five students each to the school or the village Pradhan of nearby villages. The students are required to understand the problems faced by the teachers / students / villagers; develop a plan to find solution to the problem and implement it in a creative manner. Typical problems identified in this process have been setting up the computer labs which were not functional, provide them with suitable learning materials, cleanliness, tree plantation, organize team games or creative activities for the students, health camps etc. The Karma Yoga projects are not decided by the Institute but identified by the team of students based on the problems observed and competence of the team to solve it. Entrepreneurship projects become interesting and engaging for the teams since the projects are chosen by the students themselves in the field where they have keen interest/passion

Organizing competition to solve social problems is another method to inculcate the entrepreneurial mind set. For this purpose, entrepreneurship club or cells can be setup in the B schools to organize such competition. Recently AICTE has also come up with a scheme called SPICE (Scheme for Promoting Interest, Creativity and Ethics among students) to promote entrepreneurship. The Government also gives a onetime fund of Rs1 Lac for setting up the entrepreneurship cell or club in the B school. The Business schools which have AICTE recognition for at least five years can avail of this fund to setup the entrepreneurship cell. The cell is to be run by the students under the mentorship of a faculty member. This can be the first step in promotion of entrepreneurship mind set in the students. Many Colleges of Delhi University have already opened Entrepreneurship cells or clubs to promote entrepreneurship through various activities /competitions. Interaction with young successful entrepreneurs / start-ups is another method to bring enthusiasm for entrepreneurship in the minds of the students. This is also practised in GLIM Gurgaon. The effectiveness of this method is further enhanced when the entrepreneurs happen to be one of the alumni of their school.

The entrepreneurship mind set can be developed in the students of business schools through the following strategies

-Introduce entrepreneurship as a compulsory course in business schools. After teaching the fundamentals of entrepreneurship the students should be given an opportunity to select a small social entrepreneurship project where they have keen interest / passion and implement it. The project will build the confidence of students and develop their mind set towards entrepreneurship.

-The team of students should be given an experiential opportunity to select a target group, identify their problem, solve it in a creative fashion over a period of 6 months and earn some money also.

-Entrepreneurship club or cell should be formed in the business school to promote the activities related to entrepreneurship. It should be student driven under the mentor ship of a faculty member. Students should be encouraged to take part in competitions to solve live problems in a creative manner within the B school and also compete in open events which are judged by entrepreneurs

-Students should be exposed to the entrepreneurship game developed by Wivitan Solutions India Pvt Ltd India to understand the various steps and challenges involved in entrepreneurship

-Young people / alumni who have shown entrepreneurship spirit and set up their own business should be invited to the school for close interaction with students to share their first-hand experience.

The author is professor at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon.

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